Tele-Tuesday: Television Characters Worthy of a Slap, Figuratively of Course

Does anyone ever watch a television program and think to themselves, “Someone really needs to slap that character!”?  Wanting to slap someone doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t still love them, but that they need a reality check.  Also, wanting to slap someone doesn’t necessarily mean we should slap them – this is all figurative of course, not literal.

Many characters on TV today find themselves worthy of a slap, at least in our opinion here at The Ooo Factor.  Some of these characters portray leading roles on some of our very favorite television programs, but we still find ourselves wishing we could jolt them back to reality at times.

Maybe they’re a bit overzealous; maybe they’re a bit narcissistic; maybe they’re a bit dense; or maybe they’re just a bit clueless — regardless, playing a fun game of Slap This TV Character might just be what they need… or better yet, what we need as a viewer to continue on.

So who does Tele-Tuesday believe is worthy of a figurative slap?

*****

1. Charlie Runkle – Californication

Charlie is a bit clueless and he’s definitely a bit jealous, considering himself to be lacking in more areas than one. Over the years he’s been caught doing the unthinkable “alone-time” while at his desk at work; he’s been suckered into a sex-slave type relationship with his boss; his wife has left him and is raising his son with her new husband, who she met courtesy of Charlie; and, he’s afraid that everything good in his life will disappear and he continuously makes bad decisions in attempt to hold on to the good.  Watching Charlie is kind of like watching a train wreck — we know we shouldn’t look, but we also can’t look away.

2. Annie Walker – Covert Affairs

Annie may just be the worst CIA operative on television.  Don’t get us wrong, we love Covert Affairs; but Annie wears us out.  We’re supposed to believe that she’s been through all of this top of the line secret agent training, yet she constantly makes so many bad decisions while in the field.  And in her love life.  Hello?!?!  Why is she still pining away for the one who keeps showing up and disappearing again when she has the stable and sexy Auggie by her side?  Wake up, Annie!

3. Susan Mayer – Desperate Housewives

Susan, Susan, Susan.  Susan is a mess.  Yes she’s quirky and fun, but she’s also annoying and clueless so much of the time.  We should probably give her the benefit of the doubt since her husband was just murdered in front of her, but we’re not.  So many things have gone bad on Wisteria Lane because of Susan and her not really thinking before acting.  After Susan’s first husband left, her daughter Julie played more of a motherly role than Susan did.  Even now adult Julie still shows signs of having done a better job raising herself than Susan has, and usually offers more support to Susan than Susan does to her own daughter.  Let’s just hope Julie is around for MJ now that his father is gone too.

4. Sharon Peacham – GCB

GCB is new, but not new enough for us to have not already formed an opinion of Sharon.  Sharon is a former beauty queen who has put on a few pounds since high school, yet she’s not big in any way; she’s married to a former football star who’s stuck living a bit in his past glory days; and she’s the mother to two heavily entitled children who always put themselves first.  Through all of this, Sharon has lost her identity (if she ever had one) and she’s jealous of everyone and everything.  Even when attempting to better herself, she proves to be nothing but an annoyance to one of the most patient men in her life (her pastor).  Yes GCB is supposed to be an “over-the-top” comedy, poking fun at Texans and extremely devout Christians in a nice way (not spiteful at all), but Sharon is a bit much.

5. Maxie Jones – General Hospital

Maxie has always been a bit annoying, especially since she has lived in her younger sister’s shadow for as long as we can remember.  What makes matters worse?  Her character has not grown in the least over the years.  Currently Maxie blames herself for her cousin’s death, but not in a quiet, self-destructive way — in a public, loud, and obnoxious way. Robin’s death is her fault?  Fine!  She wants to be incarcerated for Robin’s death?  Lock her up!  Throw away the key!  Just please do something so we don’t have to listen to her whining anymore.  Please.

*****

Come back next week when we divulge our numbers six through ten…

Do you agree with our choices?  Which character/s on television do you wish you could slap, figuratively of course?  Does an annoying character stop you from watching a TV series?  I’d love to hear from you!

Please note that our selections are in no particular order, other than they are alphabetized by program name.  And remember, we’re not condemning these characters — obviously we watch each and every one of these shows, and these characters hold a special place in our hearts for one reason or another.  But don’t we all want to slap even those that we love the most every once in a while, figuratively of course?

That’s what we thought…

Tele-Tuesday: A Pick Per Night 2012, The Funny Results

The results of our first Reader’s Choice Tele-Tuesday comedy polls are in.  Last week, we asked our readers one simple question: if you could watch only one comedy per night, what would it be?

We’re watching more comedies than ever here at The Ooo Factor.  While some of our favorite veteran comedies still air today, we may have a different favorite that has taken over on that particular night of the week, and we feel an obligation to update our readers with the 2012 choices.

Did the Tele-Tuesday readers agree with our picks?  Find out today in A Pick Per Night 2012: The Comedies.

Sunday: Other

For us at The Ooo Factor, comedy on Sunday night means Showtime.  And lately, our top choice is Californication.

Hank Moody (David Duchovny) has never met a drug or a woman that he doesn’t love.  Pair that with his recurring writer’s block, and Hank’s life is a disaster just waiting to happen.

The show starts after Hank, and his baby’s momma, Karen (Natascha McElhone) move with their daughter, Becca (Madeleine Martin) from New York to Los Angeles.  Joining the Moody clan, is Hanks’ agent/BFF, Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler), and his wife, Marcy (Pamela Adlon), a waxing professional to the stars.

Hank’s successful novel was adapted into a screenplay much to his dismay, and feeling down-n-out, he picks up a hot Mia (Madeline Zima) in a local LA bookstore and beds her.  That is, after all, what Hank Moody does — he beds beautiful women with his alluring charm.  During sex, Mia punches Hank in the face; not long after “the punch,” Hank discovers that Mia is the 16 year old daughter of Karen’s new fiancé.  And, there we have the setting for all five seasons thus far.

Californication is pure brilliance, but raunchy.  One of the most unforgettable scenes took place early in Season 1… let’s just say it involved Hank and Charlie in bed, with a “shooter.”  Watch with caution…. but be prepared to laugh and cry!  In Season 2, Hank is hired to write the biography of a rock star (Callum Keith Rennie) — just what Hank needs, an invitation to party like a rock star! In Season 3, Hank is hired as a college professor — that’s definitely a disaster waiting to happen! One of our favorite laugh-out-loud, tears-streaming-down-our-face scenes aired in Season 4 with the entire cast of characters sitting around Stu’s (Stephen Tobolowsky) dinner table.  Season 5 just ended Sunday night with Hank and Karen hot on the mend of what could be “happily ever after” until one of Hank’s crazy exes shows up and drugs him – classic Californication cliffhanger!!

Reader’s Choice:  Family Guy came in first with 30% of the reader’s vote, with The Simpsons following close behind with 26%.  Is anyone else with us who can’t believe The Simpsons is still on air, airing new episodes?  How many seasons is this?  CRAZY!

Monday: 2 Broke Girls

First we have Max (Kat Dennings) — Manhattan nanny by day and Brooklyn diner waitress by night.  Max has control of her life, a life that’s not extravagant by any means; she has her own apartment, boyfriend, and overall seems happy.  That is until the diner hires a blonde, dressed like she owns the place, to share shifts with her.

Next we meet Caroline (Beth Behrs) — a former Manhattan socialite who has lost everything courtesy of her father’s Ponzi scheme.  Caroline runs away from her life, not that she has a choice, and chooses Brooklyn as her new residence (because according to a Google search, Brooklyn is the least likely place anyone from her former circle visits).

Caroline doesn’t need or use her Ivy-league education and her business and marketing background to wait tables, until she discovers the diner is not selling the tasty cupcakes for enough money — Max’s cupcakes.  Caroline knows that in the city, people will pay $7-$10 a cupcake, and she begins pocketing some extra cash and creates a business plan.  Now, all she needs is Max to hop on board.

Although it’s very difficult for her to do, Max invites Caroline to stay with her.  After a boyfriend mishap, the two bond and despite Max’s constant put-downs, the girls plan to start a new life together and open a cupcakery — Max is the talent and Caroline is the brains.  We’ve seen both characters grow during the first half of season one, even if their cupcake funds haven’t (at the end of each episode, the cupcake savings tallies on the screen for the audience – the girls have a long way to go to reach $250,000).

We only set the pilot of 2 Broke Girls to record so we could say, “We checked it out.”  After all, the sitcom is created by Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) and comedian Whitney Cummings, and it fills a very popular time slot between CBS’ How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men.   But after only one episode, we returned to the series option on the DVR and updated the recording to grab all of the new episodes.   Even the man of the house has watched a few episodes and laughs out loud, even if he won’t admit it.

Reader’s Choice: How I Met Your Mother came in first with 35% of the vote.  We’re also big HIMYM fans here at Tele-Tuesday, but our previous Monday night favorite was bumped this year for multiple reasons.

#1 – Many of the 2011-2012 episodes have ended on a very sad note; we thought this was supposed to be a comedy?
#2 – Maybe, just maybe, the writers are dragging out the story of how Ted meets his kids’ mother a bit too long?
#3 – We laugh out-loud at 2 Broke Girls more than we do at HIMYM, including Barney’s classic ‘isms.

Tuesday: New Girl

New Girl stars Zooey Deschanel  as Jess Day, a likeable young teacher piecing together her life after a breakup.  Many words can be used to describe Jess: adorable, goofy, vulnerable, faithful, awkward, and offbeat — or as Fox advertises, adorakable.

She finds a “roommate wanted” situation via Craig’s List and moves in with three single men — the bartender Nick (Jake Johnson), the Casanova-like Schmidt (Max Greenfield), and the former European basketball star, Winston (Lamorne Morris).   The men, and Jess’ best friend Cece (Hannah Simone) help teach Jess and themselves all about life, love, and the ever-important self.

The opening number of New Girl is the only introduction that literally has us bobbing our heads back and forth and singing along with it.  That may not be a reason to watch a television show, but it surely doesn’t hurt.  “Hey, girl!  What’cha doin’?”  …  “Who’s that girl?  Who’s that girl?  It’s JESS!”  Okay, so everyone probably needs to hear the music to enjoy along with us.

That said, every single one of the actors and actresses in New Girl has beautiful comedic timing.  Zooey Deschanel tops the funny chart, with Jake Johnson (Nick) following close behind.  But who steals the show?  Max Greenfield (Schmidt).

Schmidt is a mess!  Is he gay?  No; he’s straight and he beds many beautiful women (including Jess’ best friend, Cece — but that’s a secret, for now).  Just when viewers are convinced Schmidt is straight, he makes some other comment or action that leads us to believe he’s gay.  Does it matter?  Absolutely not!  Is he believable in both roles?  Yes!  Do we love his “Schmidtisms”?  Without a doubt!!

But most of all, New Girl portrays life as it is — not simple, not full of hand-outs, and always in motion.  The friendships between the characters serves as the glue that holds everything together, but the character growth may be the “it” factor that keeps New Girl around for a long time…

Reader’s Choice: None came in first with 43% of the vote.

Yikes!!  So if no one is watching a sitcom on Tuesday nights, may we recommend New Girl?  Seriously.  Where are our New Girl fans?  Talk it up in the comments and maybe, just maybe, we can convert some viewers!

Wednesday: Whitney

Developed, written, and starring comedian Whitney Cummings, Whitney follows the fictionalized story of her life experiences, challenges in relationships we can all relate to — like cohabitation, friendships, secrets, and boundaries.  Whitney lives with her long-term boyfriend, Alex (Chris D’Elia), and the non-traditional couple sees no reason to get married, but remains happily ever after nonetheless.

The duo is surrounded by their friends: Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones), who believes in happily ever after, Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn), a relationship cynic, Neal (Maulik Pancholy) who appears to be in a perfect relationship with Lily but later decides he may actually like men instead, and Mark (Dan O’Brien), the self-proclaimed ultimate bachelor.

Each week, we laugh throughout the thirty minute series.  Whitney is perfect viewing for couples to watch together.  One of our favorite episodes is when Whitney walks in on Alex’s “alone” time (trying to keep the blog clean here…).

Needless to say, Alex was and is completely mortified, and Whitney begins knocking on her own apartment door to announce when she arrives home each time after the incident.  The episode continues as Whitney confesses the day’s events to her friends, further embarrassing Alex.

Which brings us to the relatable part: what’s safe to share with outsiders, even those we love the most, when working through moments that take place between lovers and partners?

This sitcom might perhaps evoke more giggles in our house than our previous favorite (How I Met Your Mother), courtesy of the relatability and laugh factors for men and women alike.

Reader’s Choice:  South Park came in first with 25% of the vote, with Modern Family at a close second with 21%.

First of all, this is shocking.  While we do like South Park, we are floored that more people didn’t vote for Modern Family.  We really, really thought it would be the show to beat.

Wednesday was the toughest of the days to choose from for us at Tele-Tuesday.  While we obviously selected Whitney from our blurb above, Suburgatory starring Jeremy Sisto deserves a mention (it came in toward the bottom with only 7% of the vote).  The relationship between George and Tess (father and daughter) is touching, but the real Ooo Factor love goes to screen-stealers Dallas (Cheryl Hines) and Noah (Alan Tudyk).  Only 7% of the vote….  Where’s our Suburgatory fan club?  Will someone join us in trying to convince our readers to check it out?

Thursday: Archer

Not offended by South Park? Love to watch Family Guy? FX has introduced Archer – pure animation brilliance.  Meet ISIS (International Secret Intelligence Service):

Sterling Archer — an alcoholic, sex crazed secret agent, who also happens to be a breast cancer survivor (Team Rampage!).  Think James Bond meets Hank Moody…

Malory Archer — Archer’s alcoholic, nymphomaniac mother/boss, whose apparent affair with the leader of the KGB resulted in Archer’s birth (although we’re still awaiting confirmation).   Think Miss Moneypenny…

Lana Kane — Archer’s sexy bombshell ex-girlfriend/partner who wants to be #1, and always wears her machine gun around her shoulder like a purse .   Think Lara Croft…

Cheryl — ISIS’ billionaire secretary with an S&M fetish.

Pam — The Human Resource director and head-gossip, who is as sex crazed as the rest of the team.

Archer’s 30-minutes of raunchy humor are an absolute must see!  I mentioned raunchy, right?

Archer is also the only one of the comedies that actually made our A Pick Per Night 2011 list.  And here it is again, staying strong in 2012.  Seems it has something going for it…

Reader’s Choice: The Big Bang Theory came in first with 63% of the total vote.  This is the largest winning margin than any other show (comedy or drama).  Now this, we expected…

Did your favorite comedy win?  If not, what is it and tell us why it should have?  For those that love New Girl and Suburgatory, share with us why others should check these two new sitcoms out!  We’d love to hear from you! 

 

Tele-Tuesday #6 – Only on Cable…and Netflix!

 

Over the years, HBO has reigned supreme with some of the best series and mini-series available on television.  Who hasn’t watched, or at least heard buzz about, Oz (1997-2003), Sex and the City (1998-2004, plus two motion pictures in 2008 & 2010), The Sopranos (1999-2007), Six Feet Under (2001-2005), Band of Brothers (2001), and Deadwood (2004-2006)?

HBO’s programs have launched powerful and everlasting characters such as Carrie Bradshaw, Tony Soprano, and Al Swearengen.  These successful shows have also helped popular actors land hot new roles such as Christopher Meloni in Law & Order: SVU, Timothy Olyphant in Justified, and Michael Imperioli in Detroit 187.

In 2008, HBO aired its own take on the ever-growing, ever-popular supernatural drama, True Blood.

True Blood – Based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, True Blood focuses on the lives of the supernatural and the regular people in fictional Bon Temps, LA.

The series follows the love story between Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and Vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), and all of the consequences of such a love.  The show oozes sexuality with characters like Vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard), and Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten), and holds nothing back with the sultry sex scenes.  True Blood isn’t for the faint of heart; the show doesn’t hide behind the sensors, ensuring blood and gore in most of the episodes.

Season 1 followed the upturned lives of Bon Temps while a serial killer murdered many, including Sookie’s beloved grandmother.  The audience also meets the local folk of Bon Temps, who tend to be just a bit odd: Sookie’s confidant, and boss, Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) shape shifts into a friendly dog; Sookie’s brother, Jason, becomes addicted to V (drinking vamp blood), and is the main suspect in the murders around town; and Sookie’s best friend, Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), while human, is all sorts of a mess.

Season 2 introduced a maenad, who manipulates Sookie’s closest friends hoping to gain control of the small town, and sacrifices many along the way.  Season 2 also builds more in the storyline for Vampire Eric, including his maker’s demise.  The second season also follows Jason as he learns to battle vamps at the Fellowship of the Sun church, and introduces the vampire queen of Louisiana: Sophie-Anne (Evan Rachel Cook).

Season 3 added the werewolf, more specifically Alcide (Joe Manganiello), another of Sookie’s protectors.  What a lucky girl! First Shape-Shifter Sam, then Vampire Bill, and Vampire Eric, now Werewolf Alcide: four hot men protecting little ol’ Sookie.  We also meet the evil vampire king of Mississippi: Russell Edgington.  Oh yea, and Sookie is revealed as a fairy, in addition to her telepathic abilities.  What will happen in Season 4?

 

Showtime joined the party launching successful programming of its own in 2000 with Queer as Folk (2000-2005), and has held its own in the series & miniseries world since with The L Word (2004-2009), Weeds (2005-present), Dexter (2006-present), The Tudors (2007-2010), Californication (2007-present), and new hits such as Nurse Jackie, United States of Tara, and Shameless.

Let’s start with two of the best 30-minute dramadies on television: Weeds and Californication.

Weeds – Over the past six seasons, Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) has done what she needed to do in order to provide for her young sons (Silas, played by Hunter Parish; and Shane, played by Alexander Gould) after her husband, Judah (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), passes away suddenly – she sells weed.

The surprise visit of Judah’s brother, Andy (Justin Kirk), rocks Nancy’s world even more and her life spirals even further out of control.  Despite her shenanigans, Nancy truly tries to be the best mother possible to her boys.  However, Nancy has the tendency to screw things up and fall for the wrong men along the way:  Conrad, her weed-growing partner; Peter, her second husband/FBI agent; and Esteban Reyes, her third husband/Mexican drug cartel crime lord.

In Season 5, Nancy’s life is saved by the birth of her third son, Stevie Reyes; but, the lives of her family will never be the same.  So, what does the Botwin family do?  They flee, assume false identities, and return to the world of selling hash only to come face to face with Esteban, who has been diligently searching for his son, and his goons in the season finale.  Season 7 returns June 27th – what crazy antics are in store for Nancy, Andy, Silas, Shane, and Stevie?

Californication – Hank Moody (David Duchovny) has never met a drug or a woman that he doesn’t love.  Pair that with his recurring writer’s block, and Hank’s life is a disaster just waiting to happen.

The show starts after Hank, and his baby’s momma, Karen (Natascha McElhone) move with their daughter, Becca (Madeleine Martin) from New York to Los Angeles.  Joining the Moody clan, is Hanks’ agent/BFF, Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler), and his wife, Marcy (Pamela Adlon), a waxing professional to the stars.

Hank’s successful novel was adapted into a screenplay much to his dismay, and feeling down-n-out, he picks up a hot Mia (Madeline Zima) in a local LA bookstore and beds her.  That is, after all, what Hank Moody does – he beds beautiful women with his alluring charm.  During sex, Mia punches Hank; not long after “the punch”, Hank discovers that Mia is the 16 year old daughter of Karen’s new fiancé. And, there you have the setting for all five seasons thus far.

Californication is pure brilliance, but raunchy.  In Season 2, Hank is hired to write the biography of a rock star – just want Hank needs, an invitation to party like a rock star! In Season 3, Hank is hired as a college professor – that’s definitely a disaster waiting to happen! One of my favorite laugh-out-loud, tears-streaming-down-face, scenes aired in Season 4 with the entire cast of characters sitting around Stu’s (Stephen Tobolowsky) dinner table.  Another unforgettable scene was early in Season 1…let’s just say it involved Hank and Charlie in bed, with a “shooter”.  Watch with caution….but be prepared to laugh and cry!

Dexter – Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) = member of the Miami Police Department by day (specializing in blood spatter), and vigilante/serial killer by night.  Dexter only murders other killers; that’s ok, right?

Dexter’s ties to his family (foster-sister, Debra; wife, Rita; stepchildren, Astor and Cody; and son, Harrison) force him to doubt his secret life, but he continues to kill, wrap the bodies tightly, and dispose of them at sea from his boat, “Slice of Life”.   Each season, Dexter faces a nemesis: “The Ice Truck Killer” (S1); “The Bay Harbor Butcher” (S2) — Oh wait, that’s Dexter! – so, let’s say his rival in Season 2 is Sergeant James Doakes; “The Skinner” (S3); “Trinity Killer” played by the fabulous John Lithgow (S4); and the “Santa Muerte Killer” (S5).

What demon will Dexter battle next? And what horrific murderer will Dexter permanently remove from Miami?  Will anyone catch Dexter?  Rumor mills report that Season 6 will be air sometime in 2011…

What’s your favorite movie-channel series of all time? Least favorite?  Which is better: HBO of old, or Showtime of new? Who’s your favorite HBO/Showtime series character?  Least favorite? I’d love to hear from you!

%d bloggers like this: